Reaching Search and Shop Students

Breakthrough Practices for Creating Differentiated Value for Prospects and Building Lifelong Learner Relationships

Topics: Customer Relationship Management, Information Technology, Enrollment Management, Marketing and Branding, Admissions

Customer Relationship Management Implementation Toolkit

Our suite of tools and resources will help members design new processes and content for improving communications with prospects. The first set of tools, designed around Creating Targeted Prospect Communications, is a resource for members seeking to enhance their organization's relationship with prospective students irrespective of whether or not they are using a CRM system.

We also crafted a second set of tools dedicated to Maximizing CRM Software Benefits. These tools are designed to assist with CRM project-planning, vendor selection, and change management to help members accelerate the implementation—or increase the adoption of—CRM systems.

Creating Targeted Prospect Communications

Making the Most of Scarce Recruiter Time

Tool #1: Buying Cycle-Based Lead Nurturing Map diagrams the progression of lead-scoring stages, the prevailing mindset of prospects in each stage, and corresponding marketing messages to nurture leads toward application and enrollment.

Tool #2: Guidelines for When to Call a Prospect outlines two approaches that help determine how to allocate limited resources to providing phone outreach.

Tool #3: Communications Plan Builder includes a decision tree to help members understand the strategic variables that impact communication plan development, as well as a series of sample communications plans adapted from research contacts.

Tool #4: Lead-Prioritizing Phone Script profiles one continuing education unit’s successful use of a student ambassador-delivered phone touch to score leads and more efficiently use enrollment advisors’ time.

Involving Staff in Marketing Content Creation

Tool #5: Personalized Email Builder distills lessons learned and includes sample templates designed to help staff build engaging emails—from the subject line to the signature.

Tool #6: Faculty Assistance Recruitment Campaign includes email templates designed to help marketing staff make the case to faculty members to help with creation of web-based marketing collateral.

Fostering Word-of-Mouth Referrals

Tool #7: Tell-a-Friend Email Campaigns Tool presents model email templates designed to encourage prospective students and cold leads to share recruitment information with their networks.

Tool #8: Corporate Alumni Club Builder outlines how marketing staff can identify and leverage alumni cohorts, a potentially powerful source of word-of-mouth recruiting, at large employer organizations.

Tool #9: Alumni Leads Passer Sign-Up Form presents information that a COE unit might ask its alumni to provide before training alumni to serve in a leads-passing capacity. The sample sign-up form is designed to attract community-engaged alumni who will pass genuinely qualified leads.*

Tool #10: See-You-Again Sample Message for Completers offers a model for congratulating COE program graduates via a paper letter and transferrable course vouchers, a sample design of which is provided.*

Tool #11: Course-Star-Rating Feedback Form provides sample language and design for collecting a quick, star-based course rating from students at the end of the period. (Collective ratings, displayed on the website, are intended to add to testimonials and ease prospective student fear-of-enrollment barriers.)*

Building Individualized Customer Profiles

Tool #12: Follow-Up Conversation Scripting Tool provides a series of talking points that can be used by enrollment counselors to solicit the information needed to develop a prospect’s customer profile and better tailor future communications.

Tool #13: Inquiry Form Builder offers tips and a template for building inquiry forms that match unique programmatic or organizational needs.

Tool #14: Quick Poll Questions Guide comprises lessons learned and examples for incorporating one-question surveys into prospect emails as a way to allow recruitment staff to collect prospect information not captured in an inquiry form or phone conversation.

Tool #15: Cold Lead Email Preference Template highlights sample messages for asking cold leads how they would prefer to “stay in touch,” allowing the organization to remain connected with cold leads who may renew interest at a later date or recommend the program to a peer.

Maximizing CRM Software Benefits

Developing a Customer Segmentation Strategy

Tool #16: Demographics Segmentation Briefing Sheet identifies the demographic groups most frequently used in targeted recruiting efforts and the key features of each demographic group that impact the creation of more tailored messages.

Tool #17: Motivations Segmentation Briefing Sheet describes a powerful method of identifying prospective students according to the drivers behind their return to education, as well as how best to leverage each group’s unique features during the lead nurturing process.

Tool #18: Actions Taken Segmentation Briefing Sheet explores how a COE unit’s communications with a prospective student should change in light of how long the prospect has been in the funnel and the actions he or she has taken or not.

Aligning CRM with Business Needs

Tool #19: CRM Business Case Template can be used to begin a conversation about proceeding with a CRM solution in light of business drivers, projected benefits, associated costs, and potential risks.

Tool #20: Function Activity Inventory (forthcoming) includes checklists for helping organizations determine how a CRM tool will impact different functional activities.

Tool #21: Stakeholder Process Improvement Feedback Forms are designed to expedite the requirements definition process, with templates for gathering staff input on desired process changes and CRM goals.

Tool #22: Guide to Understanding Your CRM Needs provides a framework for organizations to build consensus and prioritize key business issues driving implementation.

Tool #23: Example CRM Implementation Timeline outlines a sample project plan and corresponding timeline for a moderate COE-specific deployment.

Selecting a Vendor

Tool #24: RFP Creation Template identifies the most critical components for inclusion in higher education CRM RFPs and provides samples for members to extract excerpts and ideas.

Tool #25: Higher Education CRM Vendor Primer serves as a cheat sheet on the CRM playing field to help members get up to speed quickly on vendor options and typical pricing models.

Tool #26: Vendor Selection Scorecard aids in the objective evaluation of a short list of CRM vendor candidates by providing a thorough and customizable list of criteria.

Tool #27: Vendor Selection Committee Guidelines distills lessons learned for how to design committee processes that balance expediency and inclusiveness.

Tool #28: CRM Resource Intensity Comparison Chart is designed to help members determine what level of customized vs. off-the-shelf investment is optimal based on combination of business needs and available resources.

Driving Change Management Across the Organization

Tool #29: CRM Risk Point Map lays out the most common obstacles encountered along the path to implementation.

Tool #30: End-User Memorandum of Understanding Builder accelerates adoption by outlining key end-user responsibilities as well as need-to-know practices and policies surrounding the new CRM system.

Tool #31: Lessons from Industry Discussion Guide provides case studies of flawed CRM implementations, helping staff to design project plans based on insight into the most common obstacles to CRM success.

Tool #32: CRM Leadership Structure Guide provides an outline of the different roles—from executive sponsor, to steering committee, to implementation team— in which organizational leaders across functions are needed to ensure implementation success.

Tool #33: Admissions Staff User Environment Template expedites CRM adoption among frequent end-users, such as admissions counselors and financial aid staff, by providing a customizable model work-screen designed to tackle the most common job activities.

Tool #34: Profile of a CRM Rotation Program describes how one COE unit improved customer service processes by exposing all staff to the front-line realities of engaging with prospective students over the phone.

Creating Specialized CRM Roles

Tool #35: CRM Training Curriculum Outline offers a baseline list of topics to cover in CRM implementation training, organized by both timing as well as which topics are appropriate for different staff roles.

Tool #36: Sample CRM Specialist Position Descriptions present real job postings used by professional, adult, and online education organizations that created new CRM systems and marketing specialist roles.

Tool #37: Guide to CRM Specialist Selection details the most frequent core job skills and experience requirements for new CRM hires in higher education.

Assessing and Correcting CRM

Tool #38: CRM Check-Up Guide helps CRM leadership teams assess the health of the system in light of pre-established goals and expectations.

Tool #39: CRM KPI Builder presents a quick-reference list of metrics to track the progress and ROI of CRM implementation.

Recapping Key Lessons